Tough Times for Housing Lobbyists

December 10, 2008

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced this week that they are cutting their budget by $11.5 million, primarily by firing 28 employees and eliminating 24 vacant positions:

Projected income from NAHB’s two principal sources — membership and trade shows – will be down significantly in 2009. To balance NAHB’s operating budget, we will be eliminating 52 positions of which half are currently vacant. The layoffs will take effect immediately. In addition, we will also be sharply reducing expenditures previously approved for 2009.

I’m not sure what the NAHB budget is for 2008 or 2009 (the press release does not say and I couldn’t find any news coverage that indicated so), but NAHB’s 2003 budget was $73 million. NAHB has pushed for myriad tax exemptions, deductions, and credits for its products that clutter up the code and distort the market, even before their recent push for a $200 billion piece of the upcoming stimulus package. Getting $200+ billion for spending less than $100 million on lobbying is still a huge rate of return for NAHB (at our expense).

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